Society of the Snow

Society of the Snow
Original title:La sociedad de la nieve
Director:J. A. Bayona
Running time:144 minutes
Release date:22 december 2023
In 1972, the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, chartered to fly a rugby team to Chile, catastrophically crashes on a glacier in the heart of the Andes. Only 29 of the 45 passengers survived the crash and finding themselves in one of the world’s toughest environments, they are forced to resort to extreme measures to stay alive.

Mulder's Review

To these heroes of the ordinary

Society of the Snow, directed by J.A. Bayona, is a cinematic testament to the harrowing true story of the plane crash in the Andes in 1972, showcasing J.A. Bayona's storytelling prowess and ability to delve into the complexities of human endurance. This survival thriller, released on Netflix, veers between horror and drama, offering a raw, unflinching depiction of survival, sacrifice and the indomitable human spirit.

The film opens with a gripping, visceral accident sequence that sets the tone for the harrowing journey ahead. J.A. Bayona, known for his work on survival films such as The Impossible (2012) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), demonstrates his horror movie expertise in scenes where bones crack and flesh is skewered, serving as a prelude to the unimaginable challenges that await the survivors in the snowy Andes.

One of the film's strengths is J.A. Bayona's decision to use culturally appropriate actors, adding authenticity to the story and capturing the essence of the 1972 disaster. The entire cast, composed mainly of newcomers, delivers outstanding performances, and Enzo Vogrincic's narration brings a resonant perspective that adds depth to the story.

Cinematographer Pedro Luque deftly alternates panoramic views and claustrophobic close-ups, creating a striking visual experience that immerses audiences in the harsh Andean environment. The meticulous execution of effects, including the integration of green screens and LED backdrops, reinforces the film's realism.

Michael Giacchino's evocative score completes the film's rhythm, adding to the overall tension and atmosphere. J.A. Bayona's keen eye for detail is evident in the seamless integration of technical elements, creating an immersive and emotionally charged visual experience.

The story goes beyond the shock factor, exploring the ethics of survival in extreme conditions. While the film doesn't shy away from showing the desperate acts of survivors, it refrains from falling into gratuitous exploitation. Instead, Society of the Snow becomes an intriguing mix of thrills and heartfelt melodrama.

In the grand register of survival stories, Society of the Snow stands out for its commitment to realism and restraint. J.A. Bayona's exploration of the human psyche in extreme circumstances serves as a meta-commentary on our desensitization to violence and horror. The film's lasting impact lies not only in its gripping narrative, but also in its contemplation of the blurred lines between morality and survival.

While Society of the Snow may not claim the title of best film of the year, it is undeniably a testament to J.A. Bayona's narrative prowess. As the survivors' perspectives on life and death evolve throughout the film, the audience is left with a haunting reflection on the fragility of humanity and the limits we can reach to survive against all odds.

Society of the Snow is a worthy addition to the survival thriller genre, offering an intense, memorable and thought-provoking cinematic experience. The film captivates with its commitment to authenticity and its exploration of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity. We only wish we could have discovered this truly immersive cinematic experience in a movie theater before seeing it again on our big TV screen.

Society of the Snow (La sociedad de la nieve)
Directed by J. A. Bayona
Written by J. A. Bayona, Bernat Vilaplana Jaime Marques, Nicolás Casariego
Based on La sociedad de la nieve by Pablo Vierci
Produced by Belén Atienza, Sandra Hermida, J. A. Bayona
Starring Enzo Vogrincic Roldán, Matías Recalt, Agustín Pardella, Felipe González Otaño, Luciano Chatton, Valentino Alonso, Francisco Romero, Agustín Berruti, Andy Pruss, Simón Hempe, Juan Caruso, Esteban Bigliardi, Rocco Posca, Esteban Kukuriczka, Rafael Federman, Agustín Della Corte, Tomas Wolf
Cinematography : Pedro Luque
Edited by Jaume Martí
Music by Michael Giacchino
Production companies: Misión de Audaces Films, El Arriero Films, Netflix
Distributed by Netflix
Release dates : 9 September 2023 (Venice), 13 December 2023 (Uruguay), 15 December 2023 (Spain), January 4, 2024 (France, United States)
Running time : 144 minutes

Viewed on January 05, 2024 (Netflix)

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